Roddick, Hansbrough have more in common than you think
With the Final Four of men's college basketball and the Sony Ericsson Open going on simultaneously, we decided to join them.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Once again, the Sony Ericsson Open conflicts with the NCAA Final Four, so we figured if you can't beat 'em, copy 'em. Here are capsules for the men's bracket, which features only one previous winner of the event, Andy Roddick.
Listed at: 6-1
Coach: Toni Nadal
2008 record: 20-5
Road to the Miami Final Four: d. Benjamin Becker (unseeded), Nicolas Kiefer (unseeded), Paul-Henri Mathieu (16), James Blake (9).
Semifinal outlook: Hadn't dropped a set here until he met Blake in the quarters. His form looks like it did last year when he won Indian Wells -- but he's 0-3 against Berdych on hard court.
Most likely to be recruited by: UCLA
Why? Surfer hair, headband, bold fashion make him a natural for Venice Beach promenade; respect for family and tradition valued by John Wooden; muscles, charm would go over well in Hollywood.
Listed at: 6-5
Coach: Jaroslav Navratil
2008 record: 12-5
Road to the Miami Final Four: d. Sam Querrey (unseeded), Juan Carlos Ferrero (22), Dmitri Tursunov (unseeded), Igor Andreev (31)
Semifinal outlook: Will have to have a great serving day and keep points short to overcome Nadal.
Most likely to be recruited by: Memphis
Why? Small-town guy; relatively unaccustomed to playing in high-profile final weekends; needs motivational push of John Calipari to overcome inconsistency.
Listed at: 5-10
Coach: Eduard Davydenko
2008 record: 17-5
Road to the Miami Final Four: d. Ernests Gulbis (unseeded), Simone Bolleli (unseeded), Mario Ancic (unseeded), Janko Tipsarevic (unseeded)
Semifinal outlook: Winless against Roddick but is the kind of player who digs for every ball and will try to lure him into long rallies.
Most likely to be recruited by: Kansas
Why? Frequently in the hunt but can't get over the hump; has a certain plain, humble Midwestern look; next title would be the Big 12th; can easily master "rock, chalk, Jayhawk'' chant despite language barrier.
Listed at: 6-2
Coach: John Roddick
2008 record: 19-3, two titles (San Jose, Dubai)
Road to the Miami Final Four: d. Viktor Troicki (qualifier), Ivo Minar (qualifier); Julien Benneteau (unseeded); Roger Federer (1).
Semifinal outlook: Has a perfect 5-0 record against opponent Nikolay Davydenko but must guard against emotional letdown after milestone win over Federer.
Most likely to be recruited by: North Carolina
Why? Recent history includes ups and downs, including last major title in 2003; played varsity basketball at Boca Raton Prep; work ethic and determination resembles Tyler Hansbrough, whose real first name is Andrew.
Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for ESPN.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Women's singles: Serena Williams
Men's singles: Nikolay Davydenko
Features• Wilansky: Paying homage to Agassi's feats
• Ford: Davydenko has career breakthrough
• Harwitt: Best-of-five final goes by the wayside
• Tennis.com: Nadal or Davydenko
• Tennis.com: Serena or Jankovic?
• Ford: Men's road to the Miami Final Four
• Ford: Roddick finally gets over hump
• Ford: Roddick looking to snap streak vs. Federer
• Drucker: Five unintelligent tennis moments
• Harwitt: Blake searching for first Masters title
• Ford: Kournikova enjoying life after WTA Tour
• Ford: Midway through Miami musings
• Ford: Anderson stuns Djokovic in Miami
• Ford: Henin ready to get season on track
Blogs• Bodo: Champion's fatigue setting in
• Bodo: Djokovic, Ivanovic can't double up
• Indian Wells-Miami double onerous task
• Tennis.com: Serena best part-time player ever
Results• Sunday: Davydenko sweeps away Nadal
• Saturday: Serena holds off Jankovic
• Friday: Nadal gets by Berdych
• Thursday: Roddick shocks Federer
• Wednesday: Nadal rolls by Blake
• Tuesday: Serena routs Henin; Blake, Federer win
• Monday: Serena Williams eases into quarters
• Sunday: Davenport topples Ivanovic
• Youzhny bashes own skull